Rep. Cohen 'stunned' as DNA test reveals woman is not his daughter

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) is not the father of a 24-year-old woman he believed was his out-of-wedlock daughter, a paternity test performed by CNN revealed Thursday.

The DNA test found that there was a zero percent chance that Cohen was the father of Victoria Brink, who in fact is the biological daughter of Texas oilman John Brink.

In a statement, Cohen said he was "stunned and dismayed" by the result of the test.

“I was overjoyed when I was informed that Victoria was my daughter,” Cohen said. “Since then, I have given her my unconditional love and done my best at being a father as I tried to make up for lost time.”

“I was stunned and dismayed when DNA tests disproved what Victoria and I believed about our relationship. I still love Victoria, hold dear the time I have shared with her, and hope to continue to be a part of her life.”


“It's been a roller-coaster ride these last three and a half years from which I have learned something about parenting and some more about love, life, and heartache.”

Cohen's relationship with Brink was revealed when the Tennessee lawmaker publicly tweeted and then deleted a series of messages to Brink during the State of the Union.

The tweets wished Brink a happy Valentine's Day and used an Internet abbreviation for "I love you."

He later told NBC News that Brink was his daughter, and that he had discovered the relation around three years earlier. Cohen is not married.

“I Googled her mother, found out she had a child and the math looked pretty accurate,” he said. “The mom told me we had a lot of catching up to do.”

Cohen took Brink to the White House Christmas Party and said then that he was "proud to be her dad."

“I’ve been able to take her on a tour of the Capitol and the White House. I want her to see my world and be a part of it,” he said.

The congressman was not in his Rayburn office Thursday morning, according to a staffer, although a news crew was seen staked out outside.

— This story was first posted at 9:02 a.m. and has been updated.